The Rejected Poet: Alexander Pope and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, William Powell Frith (1863)
“Before starting for the East [Lady Mary] had met Alexander Pope, and during her absence he wrote her a series of extravagant letters, which appear to have been chiefly exercises in the art of writing gallant epistles. While Pope may have been fascinated by her wit and elegance, Lady Mary’s replies to his letters reveal that she was not equally smitten. Very few letters passed between them after Lady Mary’s return, and various reasons have been suggested for the subsequent estrangement and violent quarrel. […] Jealousy of her friendship with Lord Hervey, has also been alleged, but Lady Louisa Stuart says Pope had made Lady Mary a declaration of love, which she had received with an outburst of laughter. In any case Lady Mary always professed complete innocence of all cause of offence in public. She is alluded to in the Dunciad in a passage to which Pope affixed one of his insulting notes. A Pop upon Pope was generally thought to be her work, and Pope thought she was part author of One Epistle to Mr A. Pope (1730).” (x)
One of my favourite eighteenth century anecdotes - Lady Mary always gave as good as she got! Travelling to the Ottomon Empire, pioneering smallpox inoculation, writing brilliant poetry and letters… it’s no wonder Pope was smitten. (Even Lord Byron was a fan!)
I’ve seen a lot of couples in those exact poses. If not quite so well-dressed
"That versatility is one of the most interesting things about Gorey. While today we associate him with macabre commonplaces like “B is for Basil assaulted by bears” or remember him as one of the names on the bookshelf of your high school chum who wore black lipstick and introduced you to Joy Division, he was also quite highbrow in both his work and personal tastes, and found critical success throughout his career for more Surrealist-minded works like The Object-Lesson, which was inspired by Samuel Foote’s poem, “The Grand Panjandrum,” and Japanese Haiku.
The mostly self-taught Gorey had a unique imagination, and he exercised it in his works. Looking at some of his darkly comical and sometimes downright homicidal works, it’s clear he shared much with contemporaries like Jim Henson and Shel Silverstein. Their work was often nominally geared toward a younger audience, but appealed to an older crowd. But Gorey was also peerless in many ways, an American eccentric who liked fur coats in a way that Rick Ross would have appreciated, pairing them with Chuck Taylor high tops to wear to the New York City Ballet. Even though, as A.N. Devers points out in her piece on Gorey’s coats for The Paris Review, he eventually started to feel bad for wearing dead raccoons and left his estate to charities that served animals, many of us still think of fur coats when we think of Gorey.”
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Has it ever struck you that life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going?
The poet John Berryman (bearded) shares beer and conversation with drinkers in a Dublin pub in 1967. Five years later, in 1972, after several failed rounds of treatment for alcohol addiction, he took a train to the Washington Avenue bridge in St Paul and threw himself 100 feet into the Mississippi. His body was identified from a blank cheque found in his pocket and the name on his broken glasses. Photograph: Terrence Spencer/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
Joan Didion and her Corvette, Los Angeles, 1972 (Julian Wasser)
I could totally see Joan Didion with a Corvette. She is a California Girl down to the ground.
Circles of Influence – visualizing creative debt throughout history.
Byron wasn’t THAT important.
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
Oscar Wilde (via perfect)
I was just thinking about something like this…how people look for their own voice in others.
Reblogging a quote of this just for the irony. Fuck you, Oscar.
“But I am very poorly today and very stupid and hate everybody and everything.”
- Charles Darwin, in a letter dated October 1, 1861 [x]
If people still sent telegrams I’m sure I would’ve sent this one by now.
A telegram from Dorothy Parker to publisher and editor Pascal Covici. (via)
Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry.
“I usually solve problems by letting them devour me.”
-Kafka, in a letter to Max Brod
“I’ve fallen in love or imagine I have; went to a party and lost my head. Bought a horse which I don’t need at all.” —Leo Tolstoy, January 25, 1851
William S. Burroughs
"Ron Galella’s 1978 photo of Truman Capote asleep at Studio 54." Heh. "Asleep." Riiiiight.
Finally, Malcolm Lowry, poet, novelist, is famed as both a fabulous writer and a fabulous boozer, but who knew of the scandal involving the author of Under the Volcano and a north London schoolboy’s pet rabbit? Now, thanks to the obituary of a 92-year-old, in the Camden New Journal, this dark chapter has come to light. The obit of George Hepburn, headlined “Boy whose pet rabbit was killed by drunken novelist”, tells how Lowry stayed with the Hepburns – a literary family – in Parliament Hill, north London in the 1930s. While drunkenly stroking young George’s pet rabbit, “he accidentally broke its neck”. He panicked, stuffed the dead rabbit in his briefcase and, at a subsequent lunch with other literary types, asked a waiter to dispose of it. Young George was not told until many years later. That’s a hurt one carries to the grave.
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